The policy, framed in the aftermath of the Kurangani Forest fire accident, mentions the rules to be followed while going on a trekking trip in the state.

TN govt notifies new trekking policy entry fee and registration now mandatory
news Policy Saturday, October 13, 2018 - 09:57

The Tamil Nadu government on Friday introduced new rules for undertaking trekking trips to the state’s forests. The new rules come after the Kurangani forest fire accident in Theni that had taken place earlier this year and had claimed over 20 lives.

According to reports, the new rules framed by the Department of Forests and Environment, specify the fee for the trekkers and also allows only organisations registered with the forest department to embark on a trek. It also specifies the time periods when treks are banned.

The trekking routes, as per the notified rules, have been divided into three categories based on the terrain – easy, moderate and tough. Fees have been fixed for each of the categories separately for a domestic tourist and a foreign tourist. Every domestic tourist must pay Rs 200 for an easy trek, Rs 350 for a moderate trek and Rs 500 for a tough trek. For a foreign tourist, the amount to be paid is Rs 1,500, Rs 3,000 and Rs 5,000 respectively.

People who opt for the easy or moderate trekking routes, will be accompanied by a guide and if the route is a tough trek, they will be accompanied by a forest department employee along. The groups must also obtain permissions from the concerned officers in-charge before setting out on a trekking trip.

After the Kurangani forest fire accident, the Tamil Nadu government had appointed Atulya Misra, the Revenue and Disaster Management Principal Secretary to conduct a probe into the incident and submit a report. The 125-page report had blamed field-level officers of being totally unaware of the number of trekkers who were trapped inside the forest, when the fire broke out. His report had also highlighted certain lapses on the part of the forest department officers.

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